How SaaS Startups Can Build Impactful Teams

  • May 4, 2022

For businesses looking to accelerate digital transformation, deploying software as a service (SaaS) applications is fast, cost-effective, and efficient. According to a Gartner forecast, global enterprises will spend around 172 billion USD on SaaS applications in 2022. The outcome is an explosion of new SaaS startups working hard to fulfill the need for high-quality products. It also means that SaaS startups are competing for available talent with larger companies and each other.

SaaS companies cannot build high-impact teams without access to skilled employees. They have to entice the best candidates with lucrative offers. But SaaS startups are unable to compete with larger companies with more financial resources or other startups with better funding. As a result, creative SaaS startup businesses are rethinking their strategies to improve the chances of acquiring and retaining skilled talent to build better teams.


Building a Successful SaaS Team Requires Creativity and Introspection

A SaaS startup business might not be able to attract potential candidates with large salaries or company prestige. So, startups should compete on their strengths. A startup business can provide potential employees with opportunities to innovate, flexible hours, better team camaraderie, a sense of belonging, better job satisfaction, and faster job growth.

When SaaS startups think about how to hire and keep the best talent, they should incorporate their strengths into their talent acquisition and retention plan. Here are some key strategic areas to concentrate on during the team-building process:

Set Up Aggressive Headhunting Strategies to Find Talent

SaaS startups are more agile. They are built and driven by passion. They have less overhead and bureaucracy. When headhunting for your SaaS startup business, use the uniqueness of your startup to attract more talented candidates using the following ideas:

Showcase Your Unique Value Proposition: Talented developers want to work on exciting projects where they feel like they contribute to the whole company. A SaaS startup is a place where engineers can see the direct impact of their labors. You can hire more talented employees by letting potential candidates know how your product or company is unique, what value it provides, and how each team member’s contribution is appreciated in the workplace.

Offer Work Flexibility and Autonomy: Startups can attract experienced candidates looking for more flex hours or less supervision. A startup culture provides more opportunities for independent thinking and decision-making. Team members have access to the bigger picture, and they can directly impact the company’s future. During the recruitment process, let potential candidates understand the unique benefits of working in your startup.

Find Candidates in Both Conventional and Unconventional Places: As a startup, you have to be more aggressive in finding the right tech candidates. You can use traditional places like college campuses, industry conventions, job boards, social media, and staffing agencies. Established companies are less likely to look for skilled talent in unusual settings. So, you can get a competitive edge by seeking out experienced developers on freelance sites, contract sites, or coding competitions.


Better Assessment Can Improve Talent Acquisition

Tech recruitment is changing. According to a recent CoderPad and CodinGame survey, 57% of recruiters are ditching CVs or professional resumes. And they are hiring 39% of developers from a non-academic background using technical assessment tools and live interviews. Even though AI interview tools are a controversial topic, some businesses are using the new AI interview platforms to assess candidates.

For any SaaS startup, the main objective is to design an assessment pipeline that adds value to the hiring process. The assessment process should use both human interaction and the latest technology to provide accurate feedback about the candidate while ensuring the candidate feels comfortable.

A pre-employment assessment is a balancing act between the recruiter’s needs and the candidate’s needs. It should be an iterative learning process. Regularly quantify the quality of your hires and improve the assessment pipeline. For example, a technical interview might help you find great coders. But suppose you realize the hires are often lagging in performance after joining the company due to lack of motivation. In that case, it might be beneficial to improve the live interview portion of your assessment process to evaluate candidate personalities who match your company’s culture.


Prepare for Challenges of Getting Qualified Devs

A significant difficulty for SaaS startup businesses is finding qualified engineers to expand their teams. According to US Labor Statistics, the global tech talent shortage was around 40 million in 2021. Finding skilled developers with the right technology stack in this environment is challenging. SaaS startups can take proactive steps to remedy the situation:

Train Your Talent: In a competitive talent market, SaaS companies can hire new talent and improve their skills through training. Today massive open online courses (MOOCs) are a great way to train your employees. In addition, you can provide educational assistance programs to motivate continued education.

Finding Talent Through Better Networks: You can build networks to ensure a steady supply of high-quality developers. For example, you can sponsor developer events or encourage your current developers to present at conferences to increase your company’s visibility to potential candidates.


Retention – Keeping Your Talent Long Term

While most companies spend enormous time and resources hiring the best employees, they often take their current employees for granted. If you have a high developer turnover rate, it will increase the burden on your hiring process. So, it is essential to ensure that your current employees are satisfied. Here are some ways to keep your current development teams happy:

  • Creative and Engaging Projects: Developers are problem solvers and want to work on challenging projects. Ensure you have projects that engage and keep your employees sharp.
  • Career Advancement: Try to promote internally first before hiring externally. Employees who feel left behind are more likely to leave or create conflicts in teams.
  • Latest Hardware and Software Tools: Outdated tools can lead to underperformance, turning into employee dissatisfaction. So, invest in the newest hardware and software to ensure tool inefficiencies do not demotivate your employees.
  • Monitor Team Spirit: Carefully observe team morale. Find problem areas and solve them as soon as possible. A single disruptive team member can bring down the whole team’s morale. Collaboration and productivity can only thrive in an environment where team members work well together.


Building Effective Teams Ensures SaaS Startup Business Growth

A SaaS startup business is often small and starts with a handful of people. However, it is crucial to evaluate and improve the team-building process from the beginning. The company culture will grow from the initial kernel as the business grows. So, your SaaS startup’s future scalability depends on the efficiency of your team-building processes.

If you want to learn more about building effective teams for your SaaS company, please contact Flugel today. We have years of experience working on SaaS projects with development teams of all shapes and sizes. Our experienced Delivery Managers and HR professionals are ready to help you build your dream SaaS team.


Written by: Ximena Tarazona
General corrections and edition: Diego Woitasen